#GetFitChallenge – Recap of Week 6: Training to be a badass!

I’ve survived 75% of the challenge and haven’t given up yet!!! GO ME! Even when I am in the middle of a class, screaming silent profanities in my head (directed at the instructor) and my body is plotting its revenge on me… I still keep going back. Post a double class I voice-noted a friend – who thought I was intoxicated by substances… I sounded so “happy” – yet, it was just endorphins!

Stats

And… I gained weight. It was not a measurement week so I have no idea what THAT will say. We are supposed to take photos of ourselves every week. I have not… I’m not photogenic at all – less so with nothing but a sportsbra and leggings! I did bite the bullet and take pics this week *cringe*. The result….

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THERE ARE CHANGES! Like visible changes. 

Side by side photos from the beginning of the challenge to the end of week 6 shows a HUGE difference… even though my weight has not dropped a lot. I have felt some of the clothes being a bit looser, and my butt feels more toned but other than that I just figured I was working off the excess food I was consuming (more on diet later). But FLIP! It actually works. And I have a two-pack developing ūüėÄ

Training

I only arrived back in Jozi midweek so managed to fit in a double on Thursday and my second triple on Saturday. My second barre class on Saturday was my first with another instructor… awesome! Lesson of the week: Pilates before barre is a challenge! I usually do barre class (or a double barre) then pilates but Saturday’s schedule has pilates sandwiched between two barre classes. It was only a total of five hours of training this week but judging from the pics… it works!

No additional training with P or hot yoga this week… Yet, from the progress pics I can tell my body is really responding to barre and pilates. It is VERY different from standard training or even hot yoga and dance-based training is something I thought I could never do (thanks to my lack of grace and coordination).

Diet 

Sigh, still not the best but I’m still ready-made meals, ready -made drinks, fast food, added sugar (to cereal/ hot drinks) and confectionary (excluding dark chocolate – in particular Lindt Roasted Hazelnut Dark Chocolate goodness) FREE!

I wanted this challenge to be a lifestyle change and yes, by not eating a lot of “junk” I do feel less lethargic. The withdrawal symptoms are still there – headache mostly – but otherwise, its been good. I feel a lot better – less moody – than I used to be. One of the aims of the challenge was to get into ketosis – something I wrote about here and it is something I don’t want my body to get to – it is not sustainable for me or my body. My personal aim was to get into a healthy eating pattern.

Thanks to #vegetarianproblems I have been supplementing with Omega 3 and a probiotic. Still searching for a good protein shake though…

Emotions 

I feel as though I am dealing with one crisis after another… so I haven’t really had the time to process and figure what what exactly I am feeling. I was surprising chilled while I spent five hours waiting at a government office… I think the lack of sugar is making me calm? And less agitated…

Deciding to document my weekly progress by blogging has actually kept me disciplined and parts of the discipline is seeping into my daily life. I’ve got a long way to go but it is pretty good to be focussed again.

In terms of my body, I have never been this fit, strong and toned before. It was always skeletal anorexic or chubby. As the featured image says; I’m not training to be skinny, I’m training to be a fit badass. There is something so empowering to be strong – physically and mentally… I believe those two are linked. The more physically strong I feel, the more challenges I can handle without freaking out (mentally, that is). I LOVE IT!

Looking ahead: Week 7

Only two more weeks! I’m traveling again this week (thanks to work) so can only really fit in a triple class and perhaps hot yoga… Hopefully I can take some time to run a bit or even try one of my sister’s Zumba videos!

Just a closing thought….¬†images

Till next week…

k x

#GetFitChallenge – Recap of Week 5: Sore…but worth it!

These weeks are flying by! Officially only 3 more weeks until the end of the challenge! The Core-Barre¬†GetFitChallenge has kept me inspired, motivated, determined and disciplined – something I definitely wanted… and I have not quit yet!

Stats

Nope, no stats this week.. However I did formulate a document for myself, which includes a comprehensive measurements. I just need to get hold of a body composition scale so I can assess my health more carefully.

While there are only 3 weeks until the end of the challenge the “finale” is only on the 16th of September… so in my mind I have six weeks to further improve of my health and wellness. It is a goal for myself and the challenge is keeping me focused and disciplined!

As I’ve mentioned in one of my very first posts about this challenge, I’m doing this as a kickstart to a healthier lifestyle – more “real” food, less ready-made, fast-food; more movement. A healthy lifestyle is something I am craving – being confident in myself and my body, being present and living in the moment, feeling healthy – fit – strong, being productive and efficient, being disciplined, being able to have good sleep, being able to conquer any challenge that comes my way. Too much to ask?

I’m considering booking a photo-shoot – just to be pretty and have cool pics taken… I’ve never had one and perhaps it will be good for my self-worth? Or maybe I will overanalyse and hate myself even more… I’m definitely in two minds about it. Anyway, on to the rest of my Week 5 summary…

Training

I completed my first TRIPLE! Two barre classes followed by a pilates class! In the moment during each class I felt every muscle hurt, yet after the class I felt good! I also had an hour training with P the day after…followed by a double barre the next day… Six hours of training in three days. ¬†And… I FELT it!

I absolutely adore barre and pilates – even though I lack coordination and grace! It does make for funny classes and loads of laughs! How am I supposed to remember those combinations? ūüėõ

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Accurate depiction of myself in barre..particularly the “help” one!

For the GetFitChallenge, we aim for four classes a week – I must say I’m leaning more towards five a week… especially if I do doubles or a triple. My body feels good! It was also great to get back into training with P… I’m doing about six hours of training a week (well, for the past two weeks) and it feels amazing! The “high” I get post-workout – and the ability to sleep deeply – is something I can get very addicted to!

Now to try add a hot yoga class to the mix ūüėÄ (yes, I am a sucker for punishment!).

Diet

This has been the one area where I have not been so good ūüė¶ And I have not taken my supplements… or my protein shake (it is currently discontinued and I’m currently searching for a vegetarian/ vegan alternative)!

I’m trying VERY hard to “eat clean” however with the travel and odd hours – I’ve been succumbing to hazelnut latte’s and energy bars… Weird observation though: I find these items too sweet now! I have never added sugar to hot drinks and now I find the flavoured lattes too sweet!

I am at my parents for a bit of a long weekend/ family break and they do not believe in any diet (perhaps because they saw me through my disordered eating). As a result, I have been consuming a large quantity of “sweet” foods… Not part of my clean eating plan!¬†However, I am just going with the flow… There are always going to be days when I fall off the wagon but I must remember to not be too hard on myself.

Yes, I want to eat healthier but I also do not want to deprive myself. From past experience I know depriving myself will only cause me to binge and go four steps back in my health journey. I’ve been down that road too many a time to revisit the patterns.

I am considering a juice cleanse – but I do not know how my body will react. Not a long cleanse, perhaps just one day? Has anyone tried one?

Emotions

A much, much, MUCH better week! Week 4 was probably the lowest I’ve felt during the challenge: sleep deprivation, headachy, moody/ grumpy/ bitchy/ withdrawn aka PMS, overwhelmed and emotional. I was a bit more of myself during Week 5.

My headache is still ever-present but I think it’s getting better? I’ve realised my low moods and dull headaches were as a result of sugar withdrawal (I used to eat a LARGE amount of sugar). ¬†Damn, the withdrawal symptoms are painful (to say the least).

I’ve also learnt the hard way that I must not sacrifice sleep… Waking up at 3am to watch Game of Thrones before working a full day followed by two hours of training does NOT work for me. Good, deep sleep has been something I’ve struggled with for a few years. Sleeping pills make me depressed and ‘out-of-it’ the next day so I stay as far away from them as possible. I generally fall asleep to some series playing in the background – yes, I know electronics should not be in the bedroom but it is a hard habit to break… I also should switch off my phone (we may be pushing it, there!).

Looking ahead: Week 6

I’m only flying back to JHB on Tuesday evening… so my exercise regimen will start again on Wednesday morning with a P session before I drag myself to work (on a public holiday). I’m scheduled to have double barre on Thursday and a triple on Saturday – my first ever barre-pilates-barre combo (and my first class with another barre instructor).

The “goal” I am adding to week 6 is deactivating Facebook (again), and taking time off Twitter and Instagram – kind of like a social media detox. I hope it will give me a chance to “reboot” and focus on other priorities (not indulging in work-avoidance-behaviour (WABbing) by scrolling endlessly through social media). With this “detox” I also want to try and put my phone off for a few hours every day while I focus on certain tasks… easier said than done!

Until next time

k x

#GetFitChallenge – Recap of Week 1: Internal Struggles

Week 1 of the #GetFitChallenge is over… Seven more weeks to go…. ¬†How do I feel?

Finding my feet and struggling with comparison. 

Here is a quick, raw, honest overview of my experience during Week 1… As always these are my personal views and opinions.

Training

I think I did well… I successfully completed 4 sessions – including my first double: barre followed by pilates. My sessions included 3 Barre and my first ever Pilates workout. I wrote about my first Barre session here.

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Early on a Saturday morning, getting ready for my first double session of Pilates & Barre… Classes 3 and 4 at Core-Barre for Week 1!

Fifteen minutes into starting my 3rd barre class I began wondering HOW THE HELL I would be able to complete the double. But, head down and had to just do it. It did help having a fellow challenger do the double with me…

DoubleBuddy
Lezanne and I did our first double-class together!

Furthermore I successfully completed a 90 minute Hot Yoga class on Sunday the 2nd and a 30 minute session with P (after which I did a Barre session), as well as just 30 minutes of light cardio by myself. It felt good! I’ve been drinking my protein shake loads, always with L-glutamine.

Robyn, the director and mastermind of the challenge, joined in for our early sessions of Barre and Pilates on Saturday. It was awesome to have her there training with us. Inspiring and motivating. Thank you, Robyn!

Overall this past week, my body worked with me and I felt ok. I’ve struggled with the emotional side of life and my personal demons, which I will get into a bit later. ¬†However, I don’t feel comfortable enough to take a weekly progress photo or weigh myself… but I just need to bite the bullet. Just. Do. It.

Diet

EEK! While I stayed clear (!) from all confectionary and adding refined sugar to any of my drinks and meals (yay for me…it’s the little things, people)… I did “enjoy” a single Jungle Oats Peanut Butter Energy Bar – every day for four days (including BEFORE Barre class on two occassions)… Naughty, I know.

I’m also struggling to drink enough water – and at some stages I feel as though I may not be eating enough – which is perhaps why I craved something sweet before bed (hence the energy bar). So I do need to look at that for this week. I did get some Lindt Dark Chocolate with Mint (and Lindt Dark with Roasted Hazelnuts) so I’m hoping a block or two before bed will do the trick.

In better news I have not had my go-to hot drink! I, quite frankly, am ADDICTED to the Hazelnut cappuccino from a local brand flavour – ¬†Pour a packet into my mug, add boiling water and stir. Quick, easy… and full of unhealthy “stuff” – I read the ingredients and nearly passed out from the amount of chemicals in it! I’ve been putting all that in my body… multiple times a day *cringe* ¬†Does my body really need anti-foaming agent? Um, I think NOT!

I must admit I do absolutely adore the smoothie treat after classes on a Saturday – so yummy and combinations I would never think of! Now, if only I can make the time to make myself these every morning….

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Delicious, healthy, nourishing smoothies on a Saturday post class!

Other goals: 

Work has been busy and at times frustrating. It does leave me a bit drained – so I need to focus on increasing my energy levels. When work gets too much, I do find it hard to eat regularly – something I need to work on.

Completing a major non-work related project is one of the goals I want to complete – and unfortunately I did not get a chance to even look at it… more honestly, I’m too overwhelmed to even start looking at it again. Fear of failure is very real in my life and is something I am trying to overcome.

Discipline is something I want to work on in all areas of my life. In fact, it is what I want my 2017 to be defined as…. disciplined and accountable to myself.

Emotions, Emotions, Emotions

Toward the end of the week – from about Thursday – ¬†I’ve been struggling. Its been tough. I’ve been very self-conscious, to be honest. There has also been body-hate. I’m not sure why but its just how I feel.

Everyone at the classes for the GetFitChallenge look AMAZING and could be models in their spare time. I feel very…frumpy, ugly and lumpy.¬†I go to work in jeans, sneakers and hoodies, with no makeup (at most, I will have eyeliner and lip gloss on). After work I head off to gym. For the challenge, my fellow challengers look flawless and are all very sophisticated. I do feel a little intimidated… and as though I need to wear makeup every time I go to class.¬†Wrinkles and dark rings under my eyes have become insanely worrying. I feel as though I’m getting and looking very old, very fast.

I know I need to get out of this mode and slay these demons. Its hard, though. However, one of my goals for the challenge is to be more confident and comfortable in my own skin. Week 1 was a step back – and sharing this so openly is scary.

In hindsight, the anniversary of my gran’s death is coming up and I’ve noticed I’m in a slump around that time… It’s been quite consistent for the past few months now so I have come to know and recognise know the sadness and withdrawal that clouds over me around and before her death day.

The cold-like symptoms I’m currently experiencing also do not make me feel any better…

Just hoping I can move past this, soon. It is nothing but self-destructive.

As ridiculous as it seems – trust me, my intellectual side knows this; the emotional side does not – I feel crap that I have not seen any change in my body yet – where are those damn abs… why are the love handles STILL there? Why is my butt not growing? Yes the instant gratification I expect is in full force. I just need to keep my head down and keep swimming…. progress NOT perfection.

Yes, that was my biggest lesson this week. I need to remember the little things, the little achievements and I always have to Strive for progress, not perfection”! As a perfectionist, I need everything to be perfect – but that is neither possible nor productive. I should be proud I managed four classes at Core Barre, a hot yoga class, a 30 min light cardio session and a 30 minute session with P this week… around 6hr30min of working out!

Looking forward:

Weeks 2 and 3 will be even more challenging for me…

Week 2 has not begun on a good note. I seem to have laryngitis (not sure what the root cause is: either bacterial/ viral or acute sinusitis). I did not take my a Hot yoga class and well¬†rescheduled some of my Barre classes – so I will only take two classes (a double) this week. Hopefully I can still make my two sessions with P. Yes I know I should not be exercising when I’m ill…but right now, the only organ affected is my throat. If I get worse, ofcourse I will slow down.

Thanks to my sore throat, I’ve been adding honey to my tea and living on lozenges (which do contain some sugar). Sunday the 9th has been a bit of a disaster… ready-made pizza (not good) and a lunch-size packet of ginger biscuits.

Toward the end of week 2 and the beginning of week 3 I am out of my normal routine. I am performing a ceremony for my late gran back home, which means lots of family and food (some deep fried and a fair amount of refined sugar!).

Being away and out of my normal routine means no training – no Barre classes, no Hot Yoga and no training with P for 5 days. And not the best diet in the world.

I do hope to focus on my emotional/mental side and put in a fair amount of work on my project, as well as try to be more grateful for myself and learn to not compare myself to others. This is my journey – again, intellectually I get it… emotionally I’m stuck in comparison mode. This body-hate needs to go down a couple of notches… it is not healthy in any way, shape or form.

Let’s hope my review of Week 2 will be a more personally positive one! Here is my current mantra for the next few weeks:

Unknown

k x

#GetFitChallenge – Walking into a Barre

Saturday, July 1st 2017:¬†My first ever Barre class, for the 8 week #GetFitChallenge.¬†I’ve written about Core-Barre and their 8 week GetFitChallenge with Freddy SA here. I signed up, and was ready to get that booty fatter and the tummy flatter.

Barre… stability, strength, flexibility, balance and a dash of ballet

I was apprehensive (to say the least). I have NEVER taken a group ballet/dance class, ever. Even as a little girl, I never wanted to be a ballerina or princess. All I wanted was time to play with my Lego or go exploring and experiment. Yes, my mom tried to take me to dance classes when I was about 5, but I refused – I just sat there…not even interested in the dancing…. and we never went back.

Don’t get me wrong:¬†I love to dance – but the kind where I’m in my home, singing along and dancing around… or in the car singing and dancing while driving (yes, I’m THAT person). I find it more freeing to move…by myself and it shows how self-conscious I am. One of my biggest fears is failure and looking like an idiot. But, I need to get over it.

As I’ve grown up and intentionally trying to be more “me”, I am more open to trying different things. In fact, I crave trying new stuff. I’m pretty sure my current Dancing with the Stars and World of Dance OBSESSION has given me new appreciation for dance. I’ve seen dance be “emotion-and-poetry-in-motion”. I’ve shed actual tears watching some of the dances on these hit shows. I never thought I would. And I want to try and express myself that way. Which is one if the reasons I wanted to try out Barre – to see if I can move that way, before I plunge headfirst into something I am USELESS at.

In my previous #GetFitChallenge post, one of the personal goals is to be more comfortable in myself. And love myself. Be confident. So, I went along to my 1st class.

1st Class Ever

7:30 on a Saturday morning is pretty early. However, I had to go into work post-class so I booked into the first class of the day. Due to the limited number of spaces per class, we all need to schedule our classes beforehand. Core-Barre uses an awesome online system of booking, a locally designed program called BookaMat. My only “critique” is that it would really cool to have an app for my phone so if I find some time free on a day, I can log on and see if there are any spots available for a class.

Tyla, a professional dancer, gave us our first class. Koketso Рa fellow 8 week #GetFitChallenge victim Р and myself had never done any kind of barre workout before.

Pre-class
Koketso, Tyla and myself before our first class!

We started with a bit of cardio, weights, then to the Barre and concluding with some mat work and stretching. I have very little balance and stability, but I never realised it was THAT bad. No, I did not fall flat on my face (yet) but I did come close! It actually take so much concentration (which I could manage, even with my ADD).

I also need to relax my shoulders…. I keep the majority of stress in my neck and shoulders, with my shoulders most often crunched up to my ears unconsciously.¬†Doing Barre and ballet movements I really needed to concentrate. The movements are very strange to my body… doing a plie, with one arm extended GRACEFULLY with a slight curve is HARD for me. So damn hard. If you know me… I am not the most graceful person in the world!

To be honest, most of the class is still blur. It went by SO quickly! I wanted more (even though my legs thought otherwise). We did a lot of different things in sets of two or three. ¬† Most surprising for me, is that I worked up a sweat. It takes a lot to get me to have that lady-like glow while working out (just ask P) – except in hot yoga when I’m dripping in sweat (not a pretty sight). As with any exercise, I felt great and survived!

On the plus side, for surviving we were graciously rewarded with smoothies when we left! ūüėõ

Post-class
Koketso and I “glowing” with our smoothies after surviving our first class!

After-effects

My body is, um, weird! In a cool way (and I never thought I would say that).

My arms are pretty long and weirdly shaped…I can hyper-extend – which I knew beforehand, but it was never really an issue with traditional training and hot yoga… I need to practice concentration, keeping my shoulders down and being graceful (cue the laughter from from nearest and dearest).

I certainly FELT the effects of the Barre workout on Sunday! Strange muscles in me were “tender”, which is pretty cool. My default setting causes me not to get “stiff/sore” when working out. During training I 100% feel “the burn” in my legs/arms/butt/shoulders yet I’m fine the next day… I may be a but fatigued but I don’t get the “stiff” feeling… even when I skip my protein shake. Regardless, post any workout/training/class I do drink a¬†protein shake with a little L-glutamine (to aid in muscle recovery).

On Sunday morning I managed to make my 90 minute Hot yoga class which did help alleviate the muscle tenderness feeling… I think the heat helped. On Monday I also did a light 30 minute stint on the elliptical. So I’m working my body, and improving my mood ūüėÄ

I have not worked out in two days and I’m FEELING it. I need to move. I’m irritable, sad, grumpy…. definitely need to zen out a bit by expending my energy in gym and class. I’m schedule for the 17:30 class at Core-Barre today…. It should be interesting as I am seeing P for 30 minutes an hour and a half before the class. I’m also scheduled for a DOUBLE on Saturday… Barre with Tyla then Pilates!

Let’s see if I survive….

k x